Reconfigurable antenna arrays can dramatically enhance versatility of the RF front-ends in radars and transceiver systems, and present an interesting problem at millimeter-wave (MMW) frequencies. The purpose of this project is to utilize radio-frequency micro-electromechanical system (RF-MEMS) technology to form highly integrated, monolithic, reconfigurable antenna array architectures. Two different aspects of the problem will be addressed under the proposed program: 1) design of reconfigurable radiating structures that lend themselves to surface micro-machining fabrication techniques, and 2) fabrication of monolithic MEMS arrays and technological issues involving wafer-scale integration. A programmable aperture lens-array is proposed based on MEMS-enabled antenna-filter-antenna (AFA) elements. AFA's are three-layer planar structures composed of transmit and receive antennas and bandpass filters. The complete array, including MEMS switches, is fabricated using a stack of two similar size quartz or glass wafers, and in a monolithic fashion. MEMS devices are sandwiched between the two bonded substrate wafers, resulting in a selfpackaged structure. Intellectual Merit: High-performance, low-cost beam-steering is of prime importance for wide-spread deployment of commercial MMW systems. MEMS technology enables novel integrated antenna array concepts, which can respond to this need. The findings of this project are expected to advance the technical knowledge and understanding in the areas of antenna arrays and applied electromagnetics, as well as RFMEMS design and technology. Broader Impact: An unconventional research effort of this type promotes the research culture and technological competence among graduate students. Development of the necessary measurement capabilities creates opportunities for the participation of undergraduate students through summer internships and senior design projects. ASU is the main vehicle of higher education for a large number of students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds through the state of Arizona. The proposed program furthers involvement of these students in advanced technology research, and is a practical step towards making engineering education accessible to minorities.

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Arizona State University
United States
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